Brilliant Ballycroy Boys End the Famine

County U14D Football Championship - Section B - Final

Ballycroy 6-6 Kilmovee Shamrocks 3-7

Ballycroy's barren run came to a timely end as their young troops captured that long-awaited County title for one of Ireland's oldest clubs. Few could begrudge the North-West village, Ballycroy, their day in the sun, with their club's roots stretching as far back as 1889; not many clubs the country over have had to endure such a wait before being crowned County champions!

Brilliant Ballycroy boys end the famine and win Mayo GAA Under 14 D championship final in 2009 The weight of history seemed to rest lightly on the shoulders of the Ballycroy boys early on as they took the game to their East Mayo opponents. In fact, it took them only a matter of seconds to rattle the Kilmovee goal with wing-forward Ciaran Murray showing predatory instincts to pounce on loose possession and instinctively find the net to give his side's supporters something to cheer about early on. Ballycroy enjoyed much in the way of possession early on and should have been more than four points up by the half's midway stage, after pointed efforts from forwards Peter Cafferkey and Ciaran Murray (both Ballycroy) and Sean Caulfield (Kilmovee). As the half progressed, so too did Kilmovee's composure and they drew level with a pointed free from Oisin Horan and a goal from Sean Caulfield, who finished coolly after finding himself one-on-one with the Ballycroy stopper. Within two minutes of drawing level, Kilmovee somehow found themselves six points in arrears as Ballycroy hit the net twice in as many minutes with Ciaran Cafferkey and Jack Deane displaying their deadly accuracy. Going into the final stages it was Kilmovee who closed out the half stronger, with points from the ever impressive Oisin Horan and Cathal Horan narrowing the gap to four points at the break.

Ballycroy wasted no time in putting Kilmovee to the sword after the throw in. Ciaran Cafferkey got the scoring underway before referee Jimmy Foody blew for a penalty after Ballycroy wing-forward Peter Cafferkey was fouled. Up stepped Jack Deane whose penalty found the net despite Christopher Logan getting a hand to the ball. Points from Oisin Horan and Sean Caulfield were cancelled out by Ballycroy duo Jack Deane and Peter Cafferkey before Ballycroy's fascination with finding their opponents net manifested once more when corner-forward Jack Deane's long range point effort dipped cruelly over the head of the Kilmovee keeper, Christopher Logan, who was one of the finest performers for the Shamrocks throughout.

Finding themselves four goals in arrears, Kilmovee threw caution to the wind and a couple of late goals from Sean Higgins and Oisin Horan gave them a flicker of hope. However, showing a champions mentality, Ballycroy closed out the game with Jack Deane completing an impressive hat-trick before points from power-house Keelan Leneghan and livewire Ciaran Murray rounded off the scoring, to finally give the North Mayo parish a deserved place in the history books.

Scorers - Ballycroy: Jack Deane 3-1, Peter Cafferkey 1-2 (0-1f), Ciaran Murray and Ciaran Cafferkey 1-1 each, Keelan Leneghan 0-1. Kilmovee: Oisin Horan 1-3 (0-2f), Sean Caulfield 1-2, Sean Higgins 1-1, Cathal Horan 0-1.

Ballycroy County Mayo GAA County U14D Football Championship winners 2009

Ballycroy: Daragh Leneghan; Conor Walker, Sean Cafferkey; Kevin Grealis, Matthew Butler; Adain Grealish, Keelan Leneghan; Peter Cafferkey, Ciaran Murray; Ciaran Cafferkey, Jack Deane. Subs: James Deane, Sean Butler, Oisin Leneghan, Hugh McMenamin, Francis Ginty.

Kilmovee: Christopher Logan; Jason Duffy, Anthony Keane; Gary Horan, Daniel Egan; Oisin Horan, Sean Higgins; Paul McCann, Cathal Horan; Sean Caulfield, Cian McCann. Subs: Aaron Duffy, Gavin Duffy, Dillon Rushe, Shane Lynch, Ciaran Sweeney, Matthew Duffy.

Man of the Match: Peter Cafferkey (Ballycroy) There were many contenders, from Kilmovee keeper Christopher Logan to Ballycroy's hat-trick hero Jack Deane, however, the standout performer was Peter Cafferkey who scored 1-2 for the winners from wing-forward. He always looked assured in possession and time after time found his corner-forwards with precision passing.

Key moment: The last lead Ballycroy's second goal in the 19th minute was the game's major turning point. Kilmovee had clawed level from four points down, however, from the very next move Ballycroy raced up the pitch and rattled the net thanks to a deft finish from Ciaran Cafferkey. They never surrendered that lead.

Match Report from The Western People